The Slatest

Alleged Lectern Thief and Man Wearing Horned Hat, Who Went Viral During Capitol Riots, Arrested

A man wearing a Trump hat smiles and waves to the camera while holding the speaker's lectern
A rioter carried the lectern of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Two of the men who went viral during the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol have been arrested. One is Adam Johnson, a 36-year-old from Parrish, Florida, who went viral for a photograph that showed him smiling and waving while he carried House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lectern through the halls of Congress. He was wearing a wool hat with “Trump” written on top and the number “45” on the front. Johnson was taken into custody on Friday evening and charged with three crimes, including theft of government property, and is being held in Pinellas County, Florida. He has also been charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The warrant for Johnson’s arrest cited reporting by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that found his social media posts. The paper talked to local Republican leaders who assured they had never seen Johnson before. He is registered without a party affiliation. “Johnson is not affiliated with any party, records show he rarely voted over the years, and yet for some reason he decided to breach the Capitol, which no one had done since the 1800s by the way, and walk off with the Speaker’s lectern,” writes Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist Chris Anderson.

Another rioter who was featured on a lot of photos that went viral was also taken into custody. Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, was arrested Saturday in Phoenix. Authorities say he was the shirtless man who was sporting red, white, and blue face paint while wearing a fur headdress with buffalo horns and wielding a spear. Angeli briefly made his way to the dais of the Senate chamber during the siege of the Capitol. Angeli, 33, who has a large following on social media, was immediately recognizable to Arizonans considering he had become a regular presence in political rallies over the past two years.

Advertisement
A shirtless man wearing red, white, and blue face paint, a horned hat, and a fur headdress addresses a Capitol Police officer. Beside the shirtless man is a man with long hair and a beard holding an American flag. In the background are more people wearing MAGA hats.
Rioters including Jake Angeli, a QAnon supporter known for his painted face and horned hat, at the Capitol on Wednesday. Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Angeli was reportedly the one who got in touch with the FBI on Jan. 7. “Chansley stated that he came as a part of a group effort, with other ‘patriots’ from Arizona, at the request of the President that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. On Thursday, Chansley told NBC News that he didn’t do anything wrong. “I walked through an open door, dude,” he said. He was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building without lawful authority and with violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Authorities also arrested Derrick Evans, who was recently elected to the West Virginia Legislature. Evans, who recorded himself storming the Capitol and posted it live on Facebook, was taken into custody Friday and charged with one count of knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. On Saturday, Evans announced his resignation from the West Virginia House of Delegates. “The past few days have certainly been a difficult time for my family, colleagues and myself, so I feel it’s best at this point to resign my seat in the House and focus on my personal situation and those I love,” Evans said.

Advertisement

On Friday, the Department of Justice had announced federal charges against 13 others, including the Arkansas man who was photographed sitting on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk. Richard Barnett was charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and theft of public money, property, or records.

Barnett leans back in a chair, putting one foot up on the speaker's desk
Richard Barnett inside the office of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Saul Loeb/Getty Images
Advertisement